With the release of OSX Lion Apple have made a number of big changes to its Server product. A double whammy of more flexibility and a lower price.
The flexibility comes from the new distribution model, OSX Server is no longer a separate install. Its an application available on the App Store to download to any OSX Lion install. Whats more, that download only costs £35!
The previous version of OSX server started at £399! So such a huge price drop has made this technology available to far more people. In simple terms, the new OSX Lion server is so cheap, thats even using it at its most simplistic level now provides good value.
i have been eyeing the technology for a while. For a charity project i’m involved in we will be distributing a large number of iPads too autistic users. For a while we have been looking at the options for managing these devices.
A few nights ago i downloaded the server app and installed it on my 11” MacBook Air. This post contains some first impressions and some information on performance.
After installing the tools, i setup file sharing, iCal sharing and finally profile manager. Profile manager allows you to manag users and their associated devices. It allows us to centrally manage what users can do with the iPads we supply and to provide support / assistance as required.
The setup was simple, i ended up disabling SSL for my testing and enrolled my iPhone and iPad to my user account. This ties my profile (on my Macbook Air) with my iOS devices. I can now centrally administer changes. Any changes made are sent out to devices using Apple’s push notification service.
As i am only experiment with the technology i installed it on the MacBook Air. The Macbook is not a very powerful machine. This shows when click around the profile manager online interface which feels sluggish.
Once the services were configured i closed Server.app and watched the services continuing to run in activity monitor. Running the profile manager took around 3% of my MacBooks CPU power, jumping to 20% when a profile was being sent to a device.
I will be continuing to test with OSX Lion Server. We are about to start our first round of devices going to users and were hoping to have our servers configured before the devices are released.
If you have any questions or comments feel free to comment below, or email me at email@example.com